Used 2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Bmw 5-series - Consumer Reviews

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Average Consumer Rating

206 Total Reviews

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I cannot give this car up-just too good.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By barton
on

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)


Review

The 2003 530i is a classic, and in every sense a world-class vehicle. I can't seem to let mine go. I am the new leaser of a Ford Fusion Hybrid, and I am getting 43 to 44 MPG, and it rides smoothly, and it has all the modern synching and convenience features, including magnificent cup-holders (if you catch my drift), all for new price $29K with leather seats. Quite a good value, but I will never stop driving my 530i for fun, for that luxury feel and comfort, for that unbelievable handling and precision. As the last and most refined of the E39 series, it is just the best car, much more of a driver's car than even the 2004, and far more so than today's 5 series.


Favorite Features

Smooth, precise, comfortable ride. Only car that ever lived which handles like that and rode like that. This ain't no luxury car for the grandparents, unless they like doing 130 MPH for fun. Did I mention what it feels like at high speeds (which I 100% did legally only on the autobahn, uh-hu)?


Suggested Improvements

None. Okay, those flimsy cup-holders could change. Seriously, BMW, just re-issue this, like they do for Vintage Fender guitars. Why did you "improve" the driver's experience out of the 5 series? I guess the 1% can't drive worth a heck anymore?


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The greatest car on the road!!!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By anthony_e39
on

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

Being only 16 years old I am fortunate enough to have a 2003 525i for my first car it's got 45k miles and this car is truly a dream! It rides so smooth! Mine has the sport package and it is a joy to drive! It handles like a dream and the most fun car to own! If you have the opportunity to own one DONT HESITATE!!!! The repairs are kinda pricey but if you're a car guy like myself DIYing it will save you plenty of money! Truly love this car and am now a loyal BMW owner!


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168K and still going strong!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By papatago
on

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)


Review

This car is amazing! Bought it in '05 with 7K on it and now I have 168K and still solid, well built and reliable! If you can DIY some things, you can save a grip of $$$ and still have one of best cars built, period! Heavy car and going through tires is going to be an issue but nothing beats this car on the open road! I drive from northern CA to southern CA twice a month 700+ miles and 30+MPG can compare with a lot of hybrids out there...but no hybrid is as fun to drive. It truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine!


Favorite Features

The car is intimidating, but when you find out what you need to do, it's a simple car to work on to DIY. The car is just so well built, safe, great gas mileage especially on the open highway...where this car is meant to be! It's comfortable and you really feel the road! Rubber parts after 11-years will get dry and rot out, replace them and the car seems it will go forever! Great transmission, responsive and the interior looks great even in the CA sun for all these years! Paint is holding up great, even thought I haven't spoiled it by parking indoors or under cover! These germans know how to build a great car!


Suggested Improvements

Everyone will comment on the pathetic cup holders, but buy the replacement aftermarket on Amazon for $30 and replace it yourself in 5-minutes! It is an aluminum engine so you really need to be aware of overheating! The cables in the seats will go out, but a few youtube videos and a $6 lighter I bought at a liquor store instead of an expensive torch, 5-hours later and saved over 1K in repair costs! If your oil leaks, I replaced the Valve Cover Gasket in a few hours and saved another grip of $$$ but, the oil filter housing gasket will go soon as well....it can be done DIY but allow a lot of time and patience! Rubber on the window will go soon too, but 30 min and its good as new.


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Transmission problem
17 of 34 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lawrence
on

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)


Review

Once the 6 year 100k miles warranty is gone, surprises! Maintenance very expensive and for those equipped with lifetime ZF HP19 transmission you'll be lucky if it last past 100K mark. Especially in New England weather.


Favorite Features

Beautiful car, excellent performance! Maybe the Best car overhaul for its time. Hard to find a replacement even among later models.


Suggested Improvements

Fix transmission problem or up the powertrain warranty. Stop with the lifetime joke to cut on cost unless you can grantee 200K plus.


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A Fine Sedan
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Robert
on

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series Sedan 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 5A)


Review

After seeing and driving the 2004 E60 5 Series, I immediately leased the last 2003 E39 540i at my dealer. At the end of the lease, I still didn't find a better car, so bought the car from the leasing company! Now after 7 years and 76,000 miles this car continues to impress. I've been fortunate to own many high end cars, but the E39 540i has been one of the best. It has pleasing styling, a comfortable, stylish interior and great ride/handling balance. Mine has had some reliability issues: door locks, power seat cables, and radiator, all covered under warranty or extended warranty. I know this can be an expensive car to fix as it ages and I should replace is soon, but with what?


Favorite Features

Torquey V8, supple ride, decent handling. Styling, comfortable seats and driving position.


Suggested Improvements

The transmission programming could be better, full throttle shifts are slow, particularly the 1-2 shift. Plastic radiator tank should be aluminum. Door seals tend to creak and the fix is elusive, could be improved.


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